This depends on the plant. Many plants that are native to areas with cold climates are adapted to withstand the cold temperatures. However, plants that you may plant around your house might need to come inside or be covered with temperatures are predicted to drop. Tropical plants in particular will freeze and lose their leaves and blossoms if they are exposed to cold temperatures. If the freeze is severe enough the plant may actually die.
cold weather, especially frost, causes the water in plant cells to freeze causing damage to the cell walls. Check out the link for more information.
Some plants go into hibernation, like tulips and other bulbs. The leaves and stems wither away and fall off and the plant becomes dormant till spring.
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